The 15 Best Nicknames in MMA Today
All right, enough with all this "reporting" stuff. It's time to do the real work again.
With that in mind, I'm rolling up my sleeves today and digging deep to bring you this list of the 15 best nicknames in all of MMA. I report. You decide. Wait, no. I also decide. Thanks, myself.
Now the parameters. First, this covers active fighters only. Second, this has nothing to do with a fighter's record or reputation. Third, rankings are based on creativity, originality and effectiveness (i.e., how successfully did it accomplish its goal of being intimidating, funny, etc.).
Fourth, finally and most importantly, don't expect the same old, same old here. Sure, there are plenty of big names on the list, but don't just expect "The Dean of Mean," "The Axe Murderer" and bada bing bada boom we're done. No. We go the extra mile in this space, so prepare for some new blood. Some new nickname blood.
15. Karo "The Heat" Parisyan
Kicking it off with an oldie but goodie, "The Heat." Karo Parisyan's moniker shows that a simple nickname can be effective and descriptive. Plus, it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies.
14. Lorenz "The Monsoon" Larkin
Monsoons can be overwhelming. So can Lorenz Larkin, who only recently suffered his first professional loss (not counting the King Mo thing).
Although, when you look into it, you realize monsoons are protracted atmospheric patterns that can create storms, not just the storms themselves. But whatever. This isn't The Weather Channel.
13. Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall
This nickname was a lot cooler when Ian McCall was the freight-training prospect. Now he's just a guy who's 0-2-1 in the UFC.
I know we're not counting records here per se, but I think the "Uncle Creepy" thing works a lot better when you're winning. Sort of like how Howard Stern's comedy was funnier when he was married, and when he wasn't, it just became sort of, well, creepy.
12. "Super Boy" Doo Ho Choi
Don't let the fact that he looks like a fourth-grader fool you. Doo Ho Choi will knock you right out. His nickname combines both of these facts and rhymes with his real name. What more do you need?
Probably not a bad idea to learn the name now; here's guessing the 10-1, 22-year-old South Korean makes the UFC sooner or later.
11. Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran
Division: Light heavyweight
So many things worked into one moniker. You've got nationality and pride, you've got humor, you've got danger, you've got originality.
10. Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara
It's just badass sounding. It basically means "soldier" in Latin and definitely has that Gladiator feel. And I am entertained, Legionarius. I am entertained.
9. Ed "Short Fuse" Herman
You know what I can't stand in a nickname? When it's clearly something the fighter deliberately sat down and brainstormed, then gave to himself or herself. Nicknames should be organic.
"Short Fuse" feels organic, and it feels descriptive of Herman as a person. It also works, of course, because it's intimidating. If it was Ed "Likes Ice Cream" Herman, the descriptiveness wouldn't be quite as remarkable.
I still can't believe I picked him to beat Jake Shields, but I guess I should leave that in the past. It's important to learn how to live with our mistakes.
8. Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares
No other fighter has a nickname that sums him up quite as much as that of Rousimar "Tree Stump" Palhares ("toquinho" means "tree stump" in Portuguese).
The stocky middleweight with the lethal leg locks looks like some magical alchemist somewhere mixed a toquinho with a wolverine and taught it how to fight.
Now, if only the alchemist can teach it how to recognize the correct end point of a fight, he'll really have something here.
7. "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung
The South Koreans really know their way around a nickname. Chan Sung Jung's is so good that plenty of fans probably don't even know his real name. The Zombie was named such apparently for his tendency to relentlessly move forward regardless of the punishment he's taking.
6. Rodney "Sho Nuff the Master" Wallace
Division: Light heavyweight
Promotion: KSW/Smash Fight
Not much to add to this one.
Rodney Wallace's nickname appears to have drawn inspiration from the immortal Sho'Nuff of Last Dragon fame. So if you didn't know, now you know. The 1985 film apparently also starred a young Tay Zonday. So that's exciting.
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Division: Light heavyweight
In my mind, Mauricio Rua's nickname, "Shogun," is the classic of all classics. It conjures up Pride and soccer kicks and samurai warriorship. Simple, clean, elegant, deadly and chock full of charisma. Just a great, great, great nickname.
4. Giva "The Arm Collector" Santana
Giva Santana is still kicking along at age 41. And now he's 2-1 in Bellator. Guess how the two wins came. If you said "by submission," you are correct (one was an armbar, the other was a kneebar).
If you thought Cody McKenzietine or Paul Sassangle was an impressive one-move specialist, try "The Arm Collector" on for size. He's 18-2 in his MMA career, with 13 wins by armbar (16 by submission). At one point, he took 10 straight that way.
3. Trey "That Just Happened" Houston
"That Just Happened." Hilarious, but intimidating at the same time in its own way. But mostly just hilarious. One of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that nicknames and perfect for a new-school fighter like the 24-year-old, 10-2 Trey Houston.
And if you thought the Pat Miletich fighter's nickname was a one-off, check out his explanation for the moniker on his official website, where the hilarity continues to ensue. I think I've got a new favorite Bellator fighter.
2. Tony "Kryptonite" Lopez
Division: Heavyweight/Light heavyweight
Promotion: King of the Cage
The perfect anti-hero nickname in three universally understood syllables. The 39-year-old, longtime KOTC heavyweight champ is 32-12 and on the downside of a long career spent mainly on the West Coast. But that nickname will live on forever, at least if this guy has anything to say about it.
1. Kotetsu "No Face" Boku
Promotion: ONE FC
I'm not even sure what Kotetsu Boku's nickname means. And I'm not sure I want to know.
It's definitely got a sort of anime thing going on. This is the guy I'd expect to run into in the nightmare sequence of a Haruki Murakami novel. Inked, bearded, yellowed teeth, maniacal grin. He Of No Face.
I'm just glad Shinya Aoki beat him for the ONE FC belt a few weeks back. If No Face had scored the victory, surely the gates of some surrealistic hellscape would have opened upon us all.
But since he didn't, he'll just have to be content with having the very best nickname in all of mixed martial arts. Congratulations, No Face. Thank you for not reaving my soul.
Scott Harris likes discussing the hard-hitting issues of the day in MMA. And not just nicknames, either, but walkout songs and fighter shorts and all sorts of other things. Please form a single and orderly line as you move to follow him on Twitter.